More than 17,600 economic entities, including 652 legal entities (companies and enterprises) and about 17,0000 individual entrepreneurs, have been shut down in Tajikistan over the first nine months of this year, according to the Agency for Statistics under the President of Tajikistan. 

Those about 17,000 individual entrepreneurs reportedly included 824 individual entrepreneurs who worked on the basis of a certificate, more than 14,400 individual entrepreneurs who worked on the basis of a patent, and 1,700 dehqon (peasant) farms.  

As of October 1, 2020, there were 337,000 economic entities operating in Tajikistan, the Agency for Statistics says. 

The totaled reportedly included 35,600 legal entities and more than 301,000 individual entrepreneurs.   

About 29 percent of these economic entities operate in Khatlon province, more than 26 percent in Sughd province, more than 24 percent in Dushanbe, about 16 percent in districts subordinate to the center, and some 5 percent in Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO).   .

Entrepreneurs and experts say the main obstacles in the way of development of business in the country are high tax rates, frequent inspections by fiscal bodies and corruption.

A report released by UNDP on September 30, in particular, notes that the coronavirus pandemic hit Tajikistan when its economy and livelihoods were already fragile following several economic disruptions in the past decade.

Impact of COVID-19 on Lives, Livelihoods and Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in Tajikistan says the economic implications of the COVID-19 outbreak became apparent soon after the first cases were officially declared, and businesses and vulnerable population groups have been on the front lines ever since.  The impact of the pandemic on lives and the health system has reportedly been unprecedented in Tajikistan’s post-civil war history.  

The report says 63.1% of MSMEs were negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with variations by economic sectors and size of businesses.  MSMEs in rural areas are reportedly more disadvantaged compared to MSMEs in urban areas in terms of ease of access to business advisory services and markets.  83.1% of MSMEs that are engaged in small-scale, cross-border trade had their sales declined due to border closures and travel restrictions.  Almost 25% of affected MSMEs had to temporarily shut down.  85.2% of affected MSMEs experienced a decrease in sales as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.  33% of all MSMEs stated that they would like the government to enforce nationwide deferral of tax payments for all types of private businesses.